1954 Kaiser Darrin

Sale Price
22 October 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 161001088. Light metallic green over light green leather. 161/90hp Willys six, 3-speed with overdrive, wheel covers BFG Silvertown whitewalls.

Evaluation: Represented as the 88th of 435 built. Not much history represented but restored at some point. The paint looks good from a distance but shows prep issues up close like a few small bubbles and particles in the finish all cover. The body sides look a bit lumpy, while the chrome and brightwork are aged. The windshield is also painted an incorrect black, and there are holes drilled in the frame where a mirror should be. The interior shows light age, and the gauges look original.

An oddball American sports car that slightly predated the Corvette but today is remembered by few. While this one is less than perfect, it’s inherently interesting.

Bottom Line: The Kaiser Darrin has never been renowned for its performance or its styling, but it is famous for its “pocket doors” that slide forward behind the front fenders. Neither the doors nor the rest of the car caught on, but they’re relatively collectible as an early and distinctive piece of American sports car history. Quality restorations or examples with desirable period performance upgrades are six-figure cars, but the 80K range for this one is about right. It could have brought more without being particularly expensive, but this wasn’t a steal.

by Andrew Newton
29 October 2022
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